Yoga instructor Donna, 52, found herself being part of the body confidence movement almost by accident.
At 40, she started to become extremely self-conscious about her face after suffering the trauma of Bells Palsy, a condition that causes weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. Rekindling her love affair with yoga following her illness, Donna realised how crucial regular exercise was to helping her recover and she set out to help others, regardless of body shape, to reap the benefits of yoga.
“Feeling comfortable in my skin after I experienced Bells Palsy was a struggle. It’s a very public and noticeable illness. I had to try my very best not to make comparisons to how I looked before getting Bells Palsy, which wasn’t easy at times, especially as I became self conscious about the way my face had changed.
“I had to accept that this is who I am now.”
“Having regular yoga practice was very instrumental in changing the relationship I had with my body. It made me realise what an amazing tool it was and allowing me to cultivate greater self love and self- confidence.
“I created CurveSomeYoga in 2015, reading about a curvy journalist’s not very pleasant experience of yoga. I wanted to show that every body is a yoga body, so that they too could experience the many benefits. Yoga really is for every one and ever body and you don’t have to look like a typical Instagram Yogi to feel the benefits.
“It’s really important that we become more aware of how we are unconsciously being affected by what the main stream media is promoting as the perfect body and rejecting it. We’re not all the same so how could our bodies possibly look the same? We have to stop measuring ourselves in terms of beauty and see more diverse images so that all body types become normalised.
“If I could go back in time I would tell my younger self to realise that her body is an amazing tool and that she is beautiful just as she is. I would tell her to stop measuring herself against unrealistic beauty standards and that they are not real. Most importantly though, I would tell her that trying to achieve this unrealistic beauty ideal will not make her happy and really, she’s good enough as she is.”
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